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Weekend Roundup: When Better Angels Lose Their Wings

Nathan Gardels | Posted 09.23.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

As German Chancellor Angela Merkel is discovering through repeated blows at the polls, when the wages of war outstrip the means of empathy, people retreat to their own suffering and better angels lose their wings. Bad faith results from good intentions if the capacity to fulfill moral claims is lacking. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: Where There Is Connectivity, There Is Surveillance

Nathan Gardels | Posted 09.16.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

The great paradox of the internet age is that ever-greater connectivity also means ever-greater capacity for surveillance -- both by governments and the private sector digital companies. In an exclusive interview with director Oliver Stone about his new movie, "Snowden," we discuss the intrusion of intelligence agencies into personal data floating around in cyberspace, as well as what Stone considers the totalitarian creep of "surveillance capitalism" by the likes of Facebook and Google, which monitor and market your online profile. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: China's Slump Tests Brazil's Democracy

Nathan Gardels | Posted 09.09.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

What global interdependence giveth it can also take away. As long as China's economy grew rapidly, as it did over recent decades, the demand for Brazil's iron ore, oil and soybeans generated enough rising prosperity to disguise the cracks in the democratic system of Latin America's largest country. China's slump has now exposed the malignant corruption and mismanagement that festered in the shadows of the "Brazilian miracle." (continued)

Weekend Roundup: China Can Make the G-20 Matter

Nathan Gardels | Posted 09.02.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

The world economy can't grow without China. And China can't continue growing unless the rest of the world does. The G-20 -- which brings together advanced and emerging economies representing 85 percent of world GDP and 75 percent of trade -- is the one global body capable of addressing this shared challenge. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: Anti-Global Backlash Is Realigning Politics Across the West

Nathan Gardels | Posted 08.26.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

The great sociologist Max Weber postulated that the birth act of modern capitalism was the secession of business from the household and thus the web of moral and ethical obligations that intimate form of human organization entailed. Zygmunt Bauman has called globalization the "'second secession'" in which unleashed capitalism has "'flown away'" from the constraints of the nation-state, in effect the larger household. Now, national households are clawing back their claims, reasserting sovereignty in an anti-globalization backlash that is profoundly realigning politics.(continued)

Weekend Roundup: What the Burkini Ban Reveals

Nathan Gardels | Posted 08.22.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Nice and elsewhere in the country, several towns along the sunny beaches in the south of France where a scantily clad Brigitte Bardot once frolicked have banned the burkini. This ban on covering up reveals not only a cleavage between conservative Islamic norms and the liberal West, but between the concepts of secularism within the West itself as well. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: The Olympic Prism

Nathan Gardels | Posted 08.12.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

The modern Olympics have become a global platform through which countries project their image to the rest of the world. They have become a prism that refracts geopolitical and geocultural realities and aspirations. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: A War Hero and a Nobel Scientist Trump Muslim Stereotypes

Nathan Gardels | Posted 08.05.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week, three events -- the continuing political brawl over Donald Trump's indecent assault on the grieving parents of an American war hero, who was a Muslim; the death of one of the world's leading scientists, who was a Muslim; and a new intervention by Pope Francis in defense of the Muslim community -- all challenge the narrative that reduces Muslim identity to acts of terror. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: This Election is About Defining America

Nathan Gardels | Posted 08.05.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

Most presidential elections in America have been contests over different policy solutions and approaches, but rooted in a commonly agreed reality. This time around, as the back to back Republican and Democratic conventions have demonstrated, the dispute is over what constitutes reality itself. More than anything else, this election is about defining what America is.

Weekend Roundup: The Last Gasp of Atatürk

Nathan Gardels | Posted 07.29.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

If the aim of the coup plotters was to derail Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's march toward autocratic rule and restore the country firmly on the secular path envisioned by its modern founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, their failure achieved the opposite result. The last gasp of Atatürk has breathed new life into Erdogan's troubled and troubling tenure. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: Global Rifts Harden Between the West, Russia and China

Nathan Gardels | Posted 07.15.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

We may not yet be in a new Cold War, but we have definitely entered a period of hot peace. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: Anguish Stalks the Muslim World

Nathan Gardels | Posted 07.08.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

The recent string of terrorist attacks in Muslim-majority cities, including Dhaka, Istanbul, Baghdad and Medina, have left the ummah, or Muslim community, bleeding. The suspected culprit of the attacks is the so-called Islamic State. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: Present at the Unraveling

Nathan Gardels | Posted 07.01.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

"Present at the Creation" is the title Dean Acheson, the famed American secretary of state from 1949-1953, gave to his memoir, which recounts the vision and construction of the post-World War II institutions of global order. In that same era, French diplomat Robert Schuman, considered "the father of Europe," planted the seeds of European integration that have grown for the last several decades into a club of 28 countries with a population of 500 million. Brexit marks an historic turn of the tide. Today, we are present at the unraveling of those grand institutions that have outlived their capacity to deliver and lost the allegiance of their publics. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: When Politics Fails, Look to Unifiers Like Pope Francis and Yo-Yo Ma

Nathan Gardels | Posted 06.24.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

When politics divides instead of unites, walls off instead of embraces, what, or who, can bind fractured societies? (continued)

Weekend Roundup: The Orlando Shooting Reveals the Clash of Civilizations Within

Nathan Gardels | Posted 06.17.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

It is de rigueur among tolerant liberals who don't want to divide society further in our unsettling times to dismiss Samuel Huntington's thesis of a "clash of civilizations." But Huntington was right -- though perhaps in a way he didn't grasp. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: Trump Is More Than Anti-Mexican. He's Un-American.

Nathan Gardels | Posted 06.10.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

Integrating immigrants as individuals and providing them with the means of upward mobility is what has distinguished America from the old world cultures of Europe. It is the foundation upon which America's celebrated aspirational culture has been built. To suggest otherwise in 2016 -- as Trump has done in questioning whether a U.S.-born judge of Mexican lineage can fairly try the case against Trump University -- is also to deny the mixed races and ethnicities that constitute America's makeup today. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: Being Is Not an Algorithm

Nathan Gardels | Posted 06.03.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

Recently, The WorldPost published an interview with "Sapiens" author Yuval Harari in which he envisioned a future where "organisms become algorithms" as computer and biological sciences converged. In a response, Deepak Chopra writes this week that being cannot be reduced to an algorithm, nor can the mind be reduced to the wiring of the brain which artificial intelligence strives to mimic. (continued)

The World Will Not Get Better (By Itself)

Dr. Michael Laitman | Posted 05.11.2016 | World
Dr. Michael Laitman

Humans are a very supple species. Put them anywhere and they'll adapt. Just a few decades ago, if someone told us that several years from now there wo...

Weekend Roundup: Chernobyl Remains a Warning Against a New Nuclear Arms Race

Nathan Gardels | Posted 04.29.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe. More than an accident, it was the beginning of the meltdown of the Soviet Union and defrosting of the Cold War. Mikhail Gorbachev has written that Chernobyl "was an historic turning point" and "perhaps the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union five years later." The secretive, cover-up culture of the Soviet state, he recalls, kept timely information from getting to the top so a quick response could be formulated. "The Chernobyl disaster, more than anything else," says Gorbachev, "opened the possibility of much greater freedom of expression, to the point that the system as we knew it could no longer continue. It made absolutely clear how important it was to continue the policy of glasnost."(continued)

Weekend Roundup: Why the World Is Not Falling Apart as Much as You May Think

Nathan Gardels | Posted 04.22.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

Undeniably, the world is splintering. Geopolitical blocs are forming once again, the nuclear arms race is reigniting and religious war rages. Globalization is in retreat as publics across the planet suspect trade agreements, politicians talk about building walls and refugees are turned away. Yet, as Parag Khanna, author of the new book, "Connectography," writes this week from Singapore, "the same world that appears to be falling apart is actually coming together." (continued)

Weekend Roundup: As the West Bickers, the East Builds a New Silk Road

Nathan Gardels | Posted 04.15.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

While the passions of internal discord have stalled the once-confident global march of the West, the East, led by China, is looking ahead with a decades-long strategy to revive the ancient Silk Road through Eurasia as the core of the world's economy and civilization. As Oxford historian Peter Frankopan, author of "The Silk Roads: A New History of the World," writes: "The age of the West is all but at an end when it comes to taking the lead and planning for the future." (continued)

Weekend Roundup: Tax Havens and Refugee Camps Describe Today's World

Nathan Gardels | Posted 04.08.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week, two faces of globalization -- tax havens and refugee camps -- were dramatically on display. As the "Panama Papers" revealed, the super-rich and well-connected have been sending boatloads of money offshore to hide their wealth and escape taxation. Powerless and penniless refugees who risked their lives on rickety vessels to reach Europe's safe shores were being sent back from camps in Greece to an uncertain fate amid the violence, misery and insecurity of the regions from which they had escaped. (continued)

Preventing 'Madmen' From Getting Their Hands on Nuclear Material

Kathleen Miles | Posted 04.02.2016 | World
Kathleen Miles

A weighty question loomed large for world leaders who gathered in Washington this week for the fourth Nuclear Security Summit: could terrorists obtain dangerous nuclear material? "There is no doubt that if these madmen ever got their hands on a nuclear bomb or nuclear material, they most certainly would use it to kill as many innocent people as possible," Obama said at the summit. Fears of ISIS' nuclear ambitions have grown since a suspect linked to the November terrorist attacks in Paris was found with a surveillance video of a Belgian nuclear power plant official. Harvard's Matthew Bunn said the Belgian case highlights further steps that must be taken to thwart nuclear terrorism. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: Between Engagement and Terror

Nathan Gardels | Posted 03.26.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week we witnessed a world coming together and a world falling apart, a world between engagement and terror. For the first time in nearly 90 years, an American president visited Cuba, turning upside down the anti-Yanqui narrative that has been the raison d'être of one of the Western Hemisphere's most longest-lasting dictatorships. In Brussels, it appears that some children of Muslim immigrants expressed their explosive alienation in terror attacks in the very city many of them grew up, which also happens to be the capital of Europe. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: Putin's Drawdown Is as Much About World Order as About Syria

Nathan Gardels | Posted 03.18.2016 | World
Nathan Gardels

Russian President Vladimir Putin's surprise announcement this week of a withdrawal of some forces from Syria has put an end to the narrative that Russia was bound to be trapped in a Mideast quagmire. Whether in Ukraine or in Syria, it has become clear that Russia's actions are as much about its role in the world order as about those countries. (continued)